Proposed KI Balance Changes Post-KIWC

Wasn’t really sure whether to put this in General or Game Suggestions, so feel free to move it if you want moderators.

We all know KI is being left alone (as it should be) for KI World Cup, but after that’s done we already know there are at least some balance changes in the works for the period after. I thought it would be fun to create a clearinghouse of speculated and/or proposed changes to the game to discuss among the forum members. :slight_smile:

Disclaimer: I personally think KI S3 is the best balanced the game has ever been, with pretty much the entire cast feeling viable even at high level. Even if the game remains untouched in its current state I believe that to be true, and will continue playing the game. That said, I do think there is still room to improve the game and perhaps make some characters not so frustrating to fight against overall.

So here are some of the changes I would personally like to see in the game’s balance. The list isn’t meant to be comprehensive, but just some semi-random thoughts I’ve had about the current state of the game. Some of this is about straight up balance, and some of it is about just making the characters feel less obnoxious to deal with.

#Jago:
Solid character that I think is mostly in a good space, and honestly kind of tough to tweak further. I’ve seen some players say he doesn’t need the charged endo and dash cancels for it, and while I think that’s true, I also think the team shouldn’t remove strong and dynamic character options. The real salt for the character is probably more tied to his healing mechanic, which is something that is always frustrating to deal with. I’d personally like to see either his health gain looked at just a touch, and also have his Around the World=instinct adjusted slightly. I never really thought he needed to have his combo trait buffed, and given the strength of his instinct, I don’t know that I think it’s good that he can kind of fuel it on his own.

TL:DR - slightly less health gain per fireball in instinct, and/or adjustment on instinct gain for Around the World.

#Thunder:
I’m kind of strange in that I don’t really hate the character or his DP follow-ups per se, I just disagree with the amount of priority they have. The original change to skyfall to make it a special as opposed to a command normal was made specifically to stop the interaction between Spinal calling out Sammamish with power devour and then getting dunked by the skyfall cancel. That was a good call, but it also had the adverse effect of upping the skyfall priority to now trade with down+HP anti-airs. Thunder has always been a little tough to punish on Sammamish because of the delayed timing on the follow-up, but a lot of characters don’t even have the option to just say “no, I’d rather just not deal with the mixup.” Cinder has already shown that there is a mechanic for reducing the priority of air specials (trailblazer’s famous dunkability), and I’d like to see something similar be done to all of Thunder’s Sammamish follow-ups. Seeing stomp trade with DP’s is…disheartening.

TL:DR - downgrade the priority of Thunder’s skyfall follow-ups so that they lose if a defender simply wants to knock Thunder out of the air with a grounded AA.

#Fulgore:
Everyone’s favorite balancing punching bag. I think Fulgore is a character who will never not be strong as currently devised, so to a certain extent that kind of is what it is. To start off with, I’ll say that I really like the adjustment to his instinct - making him make a meaningful choice on whether he wants to zone or gain meter is a very nice touch, and much, much appreciated. I think my own personal favorite version of the character was actually S1 Gore, simply because he had to make meaningful choices between whether he wanted pressure or meter, and I’m very much in favor of that kind of tradeoff for a character who can fight at all ranges.

I think my overall beef with the character right now though is just that he’s a vortex character who can fight from every range, and because of his dashes and teleports, he generally gets to come and go as he pleases. Once he’s stocked on meter, then he can really come and go as he pleases, but I think that’s a lot better now that he doesn’t get free pips in instinct. I really dislike the vortex aspect on such a dominant neutral character though. I don’t think that will be changed (not without radical changes that are maybe unfair to the characters who play Fulgore), so instead I think I’d like to see the reward for defending against that vortex be a little stronger. Blocking cross-up meaty fireball->overhead->low m.laser and having Gore be at 0 frames at worst is just…disheartening :sweat_smile: He already has the option to pip cancel the low laser into either blade dash or fireball for more pressure, so if he doesn’t choose to do that then I genuinely believe it should no longer be his turn. I’d like him to be -2 or -3 after both laser options - that way if he wants the additional pressure he has to make a meaningful choice about his scarce resources. He’d still always have options (he can still pip cancel, and even meterless has an invincible DP after all), but “press buttons” wouldn’t be one of them like it currently is. Alternately, the knockdown times and recovery on fireball ender could be tweaked so that Fulgore just doesn’t have a vortex, but again, I can see why they wouldn’t want to go this route. Another option to tweak his vortex might be a little more blockstun overall on medium laser or something similar, just to make the challenge after a little easier to get consistently. Or perhaps make medium laser just not hit so fast, so that it’s actually a bit easier to shadow counter.

Final thing might be some additional visibility on Fulogre’s teleports. Depending on stage and situation (particularly the meaty fireball->teleport setups), it is almost impossible to tell where Fulgore is going to appear.

TL:DR - Fulgore at least -2 or -3 on all laser options, additional visibility on teleport, tweaks to medium laser blockstun and/or shadow counterability, or adjusted knockdown times on enders to reduce vortex potential. Note: I don’t think all these options should be taken, but it would be a nice quality-of-life adjustement to see at least some of them.

And this post is already super long now, so I’ll add my thoughts to the other seasons’ characters in a later post. :slight_smile:

What about you guys? What do you think of these ideas, and how would you adjust KI’s balance post KI World Cup?

*EDIT: just tagging some players who I’ve discussed balance with recently, and who I know have been having some of these conversations as well. @UACharbok @UABass @ZeroSyndicate @EctopicILLusion @XCupcakeNS @TDBKi4Life

6 Likes

I play Jago, and i dont like his healing thing.

I dont think anything in a game about combo breakers should be free. I know the healing isnt REALLY “free”, but once you end a combo with his battery ender, the rest is “free”. IMO, there should be NO “freeness” to it.

Everyone seems to agree that there is no easy fix, mainly because fireballs are unbreakable, so i would personally like to see it REMOVED.

I would like his instinct re-worked. And here is a summary of my idea:

Make his instinct more “funadamentals” focused. MOST players completely ignore the fact that he gets frame advantage in instinct. Almost no-one ever re-tunes their gameplay to focus on instinct-only setups when they activate it. Everyone just goes IMMEDIATELY into the mindset of: “I gotta get a combo, and get health back, quickly”.

I think the health regeneration should be removed, and a NEW mechanic should be introduced that COMPLIMENTS the frame-advantage.

(If i HAD to come up with an idea, maybe add extra damage to “first hits” and “counter hits”. The idea being: “Reward frame-traps, meaties, and resets”)

1 Like

I agree with more visibility on Fulgore’s teleport. Some kind of indicator of where he’s gonna go because I think it’s ridiculous how it is impossible to tell where Fulgore is going to teleport without guessing. I would also like some recovery on his teleport as well but I’m not sure how that would be handled.

3 Likes

I actually think the S1 application of his healing was a smart take on the mechanic. He had to maintain pressure (or kill and then dash a bunch, which was kinda :sweat_smile:) to get his health back, and the MOST he would ever get back was about 30%, which is significant, but not overwhelming. I think the challenge now is that if Jago opens you up he can get that same swing, and then if he opens you up again he gets another swing, and then if you lock out he gets to extend his instinct even longer. Jago can steal back huge amounts of damage now if he has a good pressure sequence in instinct, which is made a lot more likely due to the additional frame advantage and the mix of real endos and dash cancels that he can do.

I hesitate to outright remove the fireball mechanic now that it’s existed for two seasons, and I don’t want to remove the endo dash cancels because I think they really are a cool and interesting mechanic. But perhaps the reward for landing that touch shouldn’t be so much? I don’t think he needs his instinct reworked - I think tweaking some of the gains could probably bring it down to a less anger-inducing level.

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Simple fix: Fireballs cause no PD?

Well, to do that you’d either have to nerf his fireball damage and PD overall, or nerf his instinct fireballs, which I don’t think is the right way to go about it (no other character has a mechanic/move nerfed in instinct, and his standard fireball damage feels “right” to me).

I’m thinking more just that they make it so that individual fireballs give less health back per hit, meaning he has to REALLY hit you with a bunch of fireballs to get back significant amounts of life. 2% per fireball feels right, until you see how easy it is for Jago to use resets and endo-cancels to just keep opening the opponent up and tagging him with those fireballs. I think 30% back for doing that kind of stuff would be sufficient, since he’s also doing good, hard-to-break damage with them, and is benefiting from the frame advantage as well.

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You want to nerf Fulgore? I see how it is. Personally though, I agree with the changes. Not all of them together but if one of the things you suggested was implemented, I feel Fulgore would be more fair. Everyone wants Fulgore nerfed though :sob:

2 fundamental issue with that:

  1. It doesnt matter if they lower the health regen, i dont think THAT is the problem. The problem is that the PROCESS of getting it breaks the main philosophy of the game. The game is built around a CONSTANT interaction between the two players, and unbreakable health regen goes completely against that. Once you get hit with a battery ender, there is NOTHING you can do. That just doesnt feel right.

  2. If a player can successfully open the other guy up 3-4 times in a row (which is about how many times you would need to open someone up to make a GAME CHANGING DIFFERENCE with the “lowered health regen” you suggested), then the match you are watching must be VERY 1 sided. The game is already over, theres no point in the health regen, there is already a CLEARLY better player between the two. (and thats not to mention that the guy who GOT opened up just lost an entire lifebar in 5 seconds)

Im half asleep and trying to think of stuff…and foe men i like to buff vs nerf soo…

The Fulgore invisibility, absolutely. You cannot play against him fairly on Aganos’ stage.

Extend the buffer window on flipouts for the defender. Im not sure what it is, but it feels very short, and nearly unreactable if its done before the KV redlines.

Buff TJ’s cr. heavy to give him some decent AA that he doesnt have to use meter for.

I have no idea how, but Maya’s dagger assault needs more work. She is a mixup powerhouse, so i feel dagger assault should either reward better or pressure harder for what it costs Maya.

Ill think of more tomorrow…long day of KI, tournaments, spring training baseball and such lol

Vortex uppercut. Boom, done.

I kind of feel like that’s the point.

6 Likes

Me too, its supposed to be a quick reaction. Im not saying, like others, to remove them. But between air flipouts where you have forever and a day to decide a buffered move, and low to ground ones?

That’s why you should anticipate it when you’re put in situations that could lead to flip out instead of reacting to the fact that you got flipped out. It’s like “oh he did that ender/special? Flip out might be coming.”

1 Like
  1. There’s plenty of situations where the two-way interaction is essentially nil in KI, and the limited juggles possible after Jago’s battery ender aren’t anywhere near the worst offenders of this. Jago doesn’t actually extend for that long after a fireball ender - if he only got 10% back for a post-battery ender instead of 20% (assuming the very simple unbreakable shadow fireball->shadow fireball follow-up), do you really think that’s broken? People at high-level don’t care about the unbreakable aspect of it so much - we all routinely use crap that, if not unbreakable, is pretty friggen close. The fact that I can’t break Jago’s follow-up is whatever - if the lifeswing weren’t so high, people wouldn’t care about it nearly as much.

  2. I disagree pretty strongly with the idea that if Jago opens you up multiple times in instinct then you’re definitely already getting dunked. Openings and resets in KI might not quite be trivial, but they really aren’t that hard to come by for most of the cast, and this includes Jago. All instincts are momentum shifts by design, I’m simply proposing to reduce the extent that Jago’s can swing the match in a single use. My suggestion would reduce the life gain of a particularly successful Jago instinct sequence from 50% or more (which is nigh-insurmountable given that he’s probably also hit you for 25-35%, not counting PD, in that same sequence), to something like 30%. Still significant to be sure, but at least a little less overwhelming. And on less successful instinct strings, he’d get maybe one extra touch before death.

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WELL, since we are talking about balance changes here are a few things I’d like to see changed.

GENERAL: All Command Grabs are breakable (and their by Counter Breakable) sort of a Berf to our command grab characters.

Glacius: Slight damage nerf.

Gargos: Jumping HP (the wing flap) doesn’t have as much push back upon hit. Honestly this is my main beef with this character. As a Sadira main, if I get knocked to the other side of the screen, Gargos pretty much wins the fight. Low double jump, Wing Flap… Shadow Counter… wing flap…, Shadow Blade Demon, Wing flap… Dash forward, wing flap. Shadow Web Cling… wing flap. Get my point…? This one little move really makes or breaks the fight for Sadira.

Rash: I don’t know exactly what, but something needs to be done or changed about the tongue mechanics. Or better wait, IG could replace the frog with a brick and a paint it green. :stuck_out_tongue: Also on a more serious note, just tweak the hitbox on Shadow Big Boot, so that if somebody crosses up Rash, they aren’t hit by it if they are BEHIND him. Nothing like seeing your character floating above his head no where near the boot, but are still getting juggled by it.

Cinder: I would like something to be done about his DP. Personally I’d love to see them make Cinder use the traditional Dragon Punch input for it, to prevent it from auto correcting during a cross up.

Kim Wu: She shouldn’t be able to parry you if you hit her in the back. It makes no sense for you to cross her up and the person doesn’t react and face you and yet they parry and you get knocked down even though she is facing the wrong direction!

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I like this idea…also makes turtling a bit harder to DP out of.

I remember when people griped about Sabrewulf’s eclipse being such a simple, yet powerful move, BUT its range was always limited, and he couldn’t do long crazy juggles after the normal variants and has only limited juggle capabilities after the Shadow version.

Cinder on the other hand has HUGE range, massive juggle potential and can literally spam the crap out of it. They could take all invulnerability away from it, but then again that sort of ruins it. By all rights it is a DP, he should have to do the DP inputs.

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I read through your notes and all I could think was “Yes, let the salt flow through you.”

I’m a bad person.

EDIT: Please don’t make Cinder’s fire flash a dp motion. I’d have to drop the character :sweat:

4 Likes

Fulgore. . . . . .makes want to rage against KI honestly. I will never get over the fact that this character can do whatever he wants.

2 Likes

I dont have an issue with the flipout scenarios, to be fair. Its actually ‘fairly’ cool for the majority of cast that have it. Wulf, TJ and Riptor make good use of it and makes their game more potent and mind-gamey, if thats a word. Its the degree of timing needed to put something out to attempt to counter.

Raam might be a good example. We all know about his L and M mixup after a grab. In my experience, i can’t time a shadow reversal to being hit by his flipout button. (ie, the second the flipout move hits, im imputting a reversal) Which makes sense. They (my character) has to be airborne and in the recovery. So its that extremely small space of time between then and your opponent’s meaty ■■■ that you have to counter. Im just looking for more leniency for the game to register a buffered move.

Among other things, but sleep now…later peoples…

Speaking of RAAM I would like to see if they’re going to do something with his light emergence that would make it more useful. I never really see it used and I see no purpose in using it.